Retreat into a world of self-absorption and self-comfort as a way to process and protect from overwhelming and confusing stimulation.
Although the symptoms of autism manifest in myriad ways, they all share a common theme.
The individual has difficulty processing information. It may be the amount or type of information that is especially confusing or overwhelming, certain sights, sounds and physical stimulation, for example, might be highly exaggerated, even distorted.
Language can be especially challenging to process and organizing and interpersonal exchanges are often just too much for an already overloaded sensory system.
The autistic child's response typically is to withdraw into a room of his own.
Quite often, the child will use objects not for their intended purpose, but for self-stimulation, or other absorbing behaviors as a coping response to an overwhelming environment. The world they construct around themselves becomes difficult for parents and others to penetrate and what would normally be a source of delight and enjoyment of watching the child play, often becomes a source of hurt, disappointment, and despair for a parent.